I  livestreamed the annual Animal Rights Day Rally at Union Square, which included a vibrant speech by Mickey Z Vegan (starts at 29:45 of this recorded-live video) and music by the Occuponics,  as well as The Veggie Voices — a vegan a cappella group. I livestreamed a couple hours of the rally, but unfortunately I got knocked off the airwaves a few times so there are fragmented videos of the Occuponics and other events that day. You can see all the video on the PiecefulWarrior Ustream channel. The rally was promoted by Our Planet. Theirs Too., Mercy For Animals, Empty Cages Collective, and VINE Sanctuary. It is the third annual rally they have held at Union Square.


The complete performance playcard included:


There were some great speakers there, and the tone was militant and inspirational. Here’s the lineup they featured:

I did get Father Frank Mann, PJ McCoskey, Karen Davis and Mickey Z on livestream, and all of them presented insightful points of view about animal rights and animal abuse.


I got there too late for the free food (luckily Laticia and the People’s Kitchen was at the other end of Union Square – and I ate hearty there for free). The food lineup at the Rally included:


Also on hand were three Jivamukti Yoga teachers: Jessica Sage Stickler, Dechen Thurman, and Derek Goodwin.


At the other end of Union Square my old comrades of Occupy Union Square were still there and active. They had the Info Table fully outfitted, a small comfort station and, of course, the People’s Kitchen. As well, Jack the T-Shirt Guy of Occupy R Us was there as he always is. Jack was once known as the “Tear Down These Walls, America” Guy in the time right after our eviction from Liberty Park (aka Zuccotti Park). He would circle the barricaded park, shaking the barricades and howling into the night these words — “Tear down these walls, America!”.


I livestreamed and interviewed the Occupiers at Occupy Union Square, as well as the Turkish Protest in support of Occupy Gezi that was being held in mutual support from and for Occupy Union Square.


The Rally for Animal Rights put on an impressive show. All of the speakers were informed and animated. All of the tables were manned by eager and dedicated people. The performances were inspired and the food, well, the non-free food looked good but I was too poor to sample any. But there was something dreadfully wrong with the whole event that put me off. Something that left me empty. There was a lack of something . . . and that something was the determination to stay until something positive was achieved. Rallying for a day once a year will do very little, if anything to change the status quo. Perhaps it will enable these groups to tread water and stay afloat, but what real change does one day of protest out of 365 actually do?


Two hour marches and afternoon rallies have their place. But don’t make the mistake that such things are enough to effect change. They are not. The time for easy marches and picnic rallies is over. The corporations rule this country, and most of the countries of the world. They can blithely ignore temporary events. What gets their gall, and makes them act, is to occupy.


“Our bodies are the only thing we have, standing all together, using our bodies to stop the machine. We all must stand together and not be moved!” – Stacey Zuccotti